re·​con·​nais·​sance ri-ˈkä-nə-zən(t)s How to pronounce reconnaissance (audio)
: a preliminary survey to gain information
especially : an exploratory military survey of enemy territory

Examples of reconnaissance in a Sentence

There are two helicopters available for reconnaissance. They did a reconnaissance of the enemy's position.
Recent Examples on the Web Search efforts began Monday and included air reconnaissance, ground teams and dog teams searching the Longs Peak Trail and other nearby locations, the Coloradoan, part of the USA TODAY NETWORK, reported. Natalie Neysa Alund, USA TODAY, 17 May 2024 They are largely seen as future intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms. Gary Robbins, San Diego Union-Tribune, 17 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for reconnaissance 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'reconnaissance.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


French, literally, recognition, from Middle French reconoissance, from Old French reconoistre to recognize

First Known Use

1779, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of reconnaissance was in 1779

Dictionary Entries Near reconnaissance

Cite this Entry

“Reconnaissance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


re·​con·​nais·​sance ri-ˈkän-ə-zən(t)s How to pronounce reconnaissance (audio)
: a survey (as of enemy territory) to gain information
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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